Trump Boasts Half-Full Cabinet for Launch of Half-Assed Presidency

Donald Fucking Trump will take the oath of fucking office as president of the goddamn fucking United States of Jesus Fucking America Christ tomorrow. And he is already behind. Politico reports he will be lucky to have half his cabinet nominees confirmed by the time he is our nation’s commander in chief.

Which is potentially great news. Because the last thing America needs is a fully staffed Trump Administration ready and raring to get to work.

Only last night, literally less than 48 hours before his inauguration, did Trump announce his final cabinet nominee, former Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-GA), to serve as agriculture secretary. Of all the executive-branch positions that require Senate confirmation, Trump has named 29. Only 661 to go. So not only is Trump taking credit for private-sector jobs he didn’t create, he can’t even fill the jobs he himself has actual control over as quickly as the wasteful, inefficient government bureaucrats who preceded him did.

How bad is Trump’s pace, in context? The general guideline is that incoming presidents should have 100 appointees already confirmed by Inauguration Day.

The reason for Trump’s lateness is that he didn’t do the basic legwork of vetting his nominees before nominning them. That’s right, America’s about to get a president who’s even worse at doing his homework than George W. Bush was. In fact, the last president to have so few appointees in place this late in the game was Bush’s father, who didn’t need to rush because he had party continuity with his predecessor.

And about that whole non-vetting thing? On Wednesday alone, three of his nominees were embroiled in three separate scandals including potential insider trading, non-payment of payroll taxes (see Your Daily Fucking Planner), and hiring of an undocumented worker. One day. Even in the scandal-heavy pre-Obama days, kids, any one of those would’ve been good for a month of Wolf Blitzing. Not any more. Who has the bandwidth?

Process shit aside, here’s a look at some of yesterday’s shit–and a dollop or two of non-shit!

Sonny Perdue – Agriculture
Perdue’s nomination will likely prove relatively (a word we’ll lean on heavily for four years) uncontroversial. You may hear that the man who’ll control the fate of whatever non-industrial farmers out there still till the soil once drew ridicule for holding a public prayer for rain. Which, y’know, bad. Relatively.

What you probably won’t hear is where Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, whose agency will work with the Trump Commodity Futures Trading Commission, stands on regulation of futures trading. You may remember the same folks who gave us the Enron Loophole and California blackouts also gave us $4/gallon gas by deregulating speculation on commodities like grain, oil, and probably soon solar power.

We don’t know Perdue’s position on commodity futures trading–except that that was his business. Where does he stand on deregulation, which lets traders make money off price volatility–the very thing futures trading is supposed to mitigate? We don’t know. We do know that one of his businesses, AGrowStar, posted on its website a column saying, “The key ingredient for market speculation comes from the fact that it does not matter if prices rise or fall [italics added for farmer-fucking], go north or south. What matters is if there is enough price movement or volatility to offer short term opportunities to make money.” Short-term. The opposite of–what’s the word again?–oh, yeah, FUTURES.

The column no longer appears on AGrowStar’s site, but still shows up in Google’s search results as having been there:

The leading candidate to head the CFTC, the primary agency regulating commodity trading, has said he is happy the agency didn’t finalize a new rule to limited speculation on oil and other commodities. So, good luck filling up your SUVs a couple years from now, folks.

Wilbur Ross – Commerce
Ross took his first steps as a Trumpian job creator on Wednesday by discussing how he just fired an undocumented worker. We’ve reviewed his job-creation methodology, such as burying miners in mines to free up new jobs for miners, in the past. On Wednesday, Ross assured the Senate his work with Trump will accelerate Obama’s growth of the gross domestic product. Ross said GDP will grow by more than 3% annually, which is at least more than half of the 6% Trump campaigned on, when he wasn’t campaigning on 4% or 5% GDP, depending on which analytical model he was smoking that day.

Relatively good shit: Ross believes in data! Thinks it’s real and important and shit. Plus, regarding accusations he’s a vulture capitalist, labor leaders say that Ross is, in fact, a compassionate, egalitarian vulture capitalist.

Scott Pruitt – EPA
Pruitt’s confirmation hearing confirmed he’s an environmental nightmare. The example he gave of an environmentally friendly lawsuit he pursued as Oklahoma’s attorney general was a joke (he inherited the case). When asked about his batting average suing the Environmental Protection Agency for environmentally protecting Oklahoma, Pruitt responded with minor-league jokes about his involvement with the minor-league RedHawks baseball team. (At this juncture, The Fucking News would like to recycle its own minor-league RedHawks joke from last December.)

Pruitt also confirmed that he gets so much money from big oil, it’s like a huge gusher, impossible to keep track of. And that he cares passionately about states’ rights, except when the state is California and the right is the right to stop cars from emitting pollution into the state’s air.

Some good shit: Admitted climate change is not a hoax: Sadly, would not acknowledge humans as the primary factor. Then probably muttered under his breath, “It’s God’s plan! It’s all in Revelation, people!”

more: CNN, Politico, HuffPo, AP

Nikki Haley – UN Ambassador
Displayed layman’s knowledge of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Russian Federation, and where the dessert spoon goes. Which these days qualifies you to represent the United States of America on the United Nations Security Council.

Relatively good shit: Not an old, white dude. Yet.

more: Politico, Vox

Tom Price – Health and Human Services
When asked to ensure he would not try to cut spending on Americans’ medical benefits, Price responded, “What the question presumes is money is the metric…I believe that the metric ought to be the care that the patients are receiving.” Which is always, of course, the metric…right the fuck up until meeting the care metric requires spending the money metric.

Price also said the administration will not “pull the rug” out from people desperately trying escape the terrible under-foot rug of ObamaCare. (See our previous “pull the rug out” shtick here.)

Price gave a fascinating scamsplanation of how draining the swamp does not mean members of Congress who vote on medical-device legislation can’t get stock tips about medical-device makers and then buy that stock days before voting on medical-device legislation and tripling their money just like Joe Notswamp does every day.

Relatively good shit: As an orthopedic surgeon, can operate on people’s bones using his Invisible Hand.